God creates worship; worshippers release worship.
Worship comes from heaven. Authentic worshippers release worship God creates into the earth. Authentic worshippers are the sacrifice Father is looking for, and when He finds this kind of worshipper, He releases what He’s created through them as “spirit and truth” worship. Their spiritual worship engages the reality of spirit. Worshipping God is spiritual and must be released spiritually.
Worship is Spiritual
“The time is coming and has already started when the authentic worshippers worship Father in spirit and truth, for Father seeks for this kind of worshippers. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:23-24]
- Worship the Father. This becomes possible because Messiah has arrived, because Messiah arrives with the passion of the Father, worshipping as a living sacrifice in the reality of spirit, releasing the reality of spirit into the natural world. In this way, Messiah establishes what Father has always wanted, something David approached in the Tent, but the vast majority of generations knew little about. Glory becomes available because the spiritual worship of the Father occurs in the passion of the Father instead of the passion of the worshippers.
- Worship the Father in the reality of spirit, for He is Spirit. This becomes possible when worshippers release what God creates instead of bringing God what they want Him to have. The worship of Cain will not be received as what the Father wants, even when it done in the Name of Jesus and glorifies God, even when it occurs in spiritual people with burning passion for what they are doing. What is released must be created in the spirit so that worshippers sacrifice what Father wants – they are the sacrifice! – And what God creates in spirit is released through them in spirit to bring the reality of spirit into the natural world.
- Worshippers who worship in spirit are the target the Father searching to find. Here’s the cap sheath of revelation about worship: Father is searching like a detective with a magnifying glass for this kind of worship! Father has created worship in heaven that He wants released into the earth, and only this kind of worship can connect what is real in spirit with what is real in the natural. God creates worship, and worshippers release what He creates.
- Worship comes from Spirit and releases spiritual reality where it occurs. If we release what we create, even when we do so by spiritual means and power, we still release from the natural into the spiritual instead of from the spiritual into the natural. Infusing natural with spiritual cannot begin with the worshipper because the sacrifice isn’t what the worshipper can create. The sacrifice is the worshipper! Once the living sacrifice is offered with an eternal but continual position of surrender, Father can answer that altar with what He creates. Remember, that the offering must be accepted, and will only be accepted when we bring Father what He wants, not when we bring Him what we want Him to have.
Worship is Positional
Worship comes from a surrendered position; the very words mean, “bow down and kiss the ground.” Picture that moment as if you are a photographer or videographer, someone approaches the King, and suddenly, one is on the ground, out of the frame, and the Other fills the whole frame. This is the position for worship. “Worship the Father” as a sacrificed worshipper. The worship removes us and exalts Him! Worship is a position from which to exalt and position Jesus.
- Worship is sacrifice. Nothing about authentic spiritual worship can be selfish, even while pure worship will touch every part of the worshipper as God accepts the holy sacrifice.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by God’s mercies, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]
Worship as a sacrifice means the sacrifice lives but isn’t the worship. The worshipper, once fully surrendered to living “absent from the frame,” receives the response of Father’s acceptance – “I’ve been searching for you! – And the worship Father creates is released through the spirit and truth worship!
- Spiritual reality becomes available to natural reality when a spiritual worshipper becomes a natural sacrifice. This is a spiritual exercise and activity, and it is more real than any natural sacrifice: the natural sacrifice model has always been a failure when it was not spiritually motivated.
- Spiritual worship and natural worship look and sound the same when discerned by natural means. The same song can be performed at various levels of professionalism or amateurism while the spiritual worship can only be discerned by the spiritual character of the worship, not the natural appearance or sound. The quality of the performance is highest when the worshippers producing the sound and appearance are kissing the ground and the worship experience gives way to releasing worship instead of experiencing worship. That is, experiencing worship can occur through vessels of musical performance using vocal, instrumental, dance, and artistic means at various levels of artistic skill, the highest form of skill being the ability to release worship that best releases what God is creating, whether that be simple or complex in terms of artistic expertise. However, limitations in artistic skill may also limit release of what God is creating when God is creating artistic complexity requiring greater artistic dexterity. So, it is not inaccurate to say, “Sometimes God would like to release worship at a greater level than the people releasing are capable of producing; and, sometimes the artists have achieved a level of mastery that allows a higher level of release. In this scenario, we should strive for the highest levels of artistic skill simply because we can become vessels of honor to release sounds and appearances closer to what God is creating; at the same time, we understand that the greatest skill sometimes rests in fully releasing a very elementary or simply sound, movement, and appearance.
- Worship begins in Spirit. When “worship” becomes an emotional or mental experience, we are caught up in natural experience of creativity. It is moving for sure, but the passion that is released is human passion. If worship begins with our emotions or minds instead of beginning with God, we use the natural experience as a way of releasing sounds, feelings, passion, and love that originates with us and flows from us. That is beautiful, but it is natural influencing natural even when the people who release it are anointed people. The scope of that spiritual reality influence is meager though beautiful. This position of worship exalts us, and God becomes a corollary partner.
- We can experience worship without releasing worship: there is a difference between experiencing worship and releasing worship. Only living sacrifices that “disappear from the frame” can receive and release what God creates in spiritual reality. God gets this worship into the earth through living sacrifices; He responds to the sacrificial position of submission.
- “Concert mode” worship begins with my enjoyment and emotional response to music that unlocks and expresses my inner experiences; but spiritual worship begins with God’s design and purpose and unlocks heaven so heaven can be released into earth through His worship. That’s what Father looking for: spiritual worship!
- In a conference setting, seldom does the Glory of God rest upon a people (The way His Glory rested upon a conference I was in the recent past). Each session, the thousands of leaders present surrendered to spiritual worship, and Overshadowing Glory rested upon us for hours. It was powerful! Then, in one session, a popular worship leader took the platform, a wonderfully anointed worship leader, but immediate that worship leader began to lead worship, the people moved into concert mode, cell phone extended for photos, swaying with the music they loved, and generally operated from “me first” mode to something they had grown to appreciate as great worship music. It was not the worship leader’s fault. Nonetheless, the precious thousands that had enjoyed Glory were now experiencing worship instead of releasing worship. After the worship leader finished, my good friend sat down at the keyboard for a moment to lead the people in very simply worship, and in five minutes, the thousands of leaders switch back to spiritual worship. The Overshadowing Glory immediately rested upon us again! Experiencing worship and releasing worship contrast starkly once you come to recognize spiritual worship.
The Passion of the Father
God is spirit, so we must worship Him in the reality of spirit. While we often assume that means we can do this because we have Holy Spirit or the worship is anointed, the actuality is that we can do this only when we are worshipping in spirit – capable of this because of Holy Spirit, for sure, but not necessarily spiritual worship just because we have Holy Spirit and do something we call, “worship.” So, we can participate in anointed worship and experience worship without worshipping in spirit and truth. We can bring God what we want Him to have without releasing spiritual worship. We can do something we call, “worship,” without actually worshipping in spirit and truth. Father’s worship comes with fire, a consuming of the accepted, holy sacrifice our spiritual worship releases as living sacrifices.
- Our passion must become a sacrifice, so we can receive and release His passion.
- Jesus never operated in His own passion. He lived by the passion of the Father. The fire in His eyes doesn’t come from His head or heart, it comes from His belly, a release from the womb or matrix of living waters. Jesus lives with “what Father wants” as His only alternative.
- Jesus makes His passion a sacrifice for what Father wants. This is the oneness He describes and prays will be the condition of His representatives.
- Once we “disappear from the frame,” becoming a living sacrifice accepted by Father, we submit to a proving process of one particular thing: what Father wants. [See Romans 12:2.] This is above all things that are mentioned by these verses the highest form of surrender, consecration, obedience, and submission arrived at through spiritual worship, releasing what God creates through our priestly offering of All we are. Worship reveal the immediate measure our present level of obedience and submission to God.
- When our passion is as dead as the rest of us, lying on the altar of completed consecration, we come alive with His passion! In Christ, we experience Father’s passion because He burns with the same consuming fire as the Father!
- We cannot understand love without this completing process of surrender, for in it alone do we mature in love so that we can experience Father’s burning, passionate love for us.
- Understanding agape love as a sacrifice to God so that we experience Him, Agape Love personified, alters the internals and externals of our lifestyles and enables us to receive and release the worship God creates properly.
- Reconcile your worship with the words of Jesus: that people will do many things in His Name who are not doing what Father wants!
- To this Jesus speaks clearly: “Many shall approach Me in that day to say, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not done great things in Your Name,” but they are people of which I am unaware. The people what Father wants have My attention.”
- “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who operate in lawlessness.’ [Matthew 7:21-23]
- The Father seeks those releasing spiritual worship because that is what He wants, so we include spiritual worship in this concept of “doing what Father wants.” People can engage in great things, both personal and public, on a scale of private devotion or massive convocation, that do not accomplish Father’s purposes or fulfill Father’s dreams, or build Father’s designs, or answer to Father’s definitions. Jesus says He ignores that just as Father seeks for spiritual worship exclusively. So, we must conclude that Father and Jesus ignore human designs and definitions for “worship” and give attention exclusively to the release of spiritual worship.
- Ask yourself this question: “What is the fire?” If God is fire, if God is love, if God is spirit, if God is holy, then what is the spiritual fire that burns, purifies, consumes, and accepts the sacrifice? That fire is the passion of the Father, the burning of His passionate love for His purposes, and that burning passion for you was the fire of Creation burning to give you life, that burning passion was Jesus on the Cross, rising from the dead, receiving all authority, and His present priestly intercession for purpose now. That fire burns for purpose, so all worship that God designs has fire in it!
- As we were worshipping, March 7, 2003, in a University of Ministry class on Spiritual Warfare, I was caught up in open vision, looking down on South America. I prophesied what I was experiencing in the vision for more than an hour and a half, and I am living out the vision today, in 2016! During the vision, I saw Jesus stand up to claim the land, people, and purposes of Brasil, and I saw the fire in His eyes that John saw when He saw Jesus walking among the Ecclesias. I saw that fire, but more importantly, I experienced that fire! I experienced a portion of the burning passion focused upon nations through Jesus’ eyes. As I did, I was shocked to understand that the fire in Jesus’ eyes is not the passion of Jesus. The burning passion released through His eyes doesn’t come from His mind or heart, but from His belly! The passion released in Jesus’ eyes is the passion of the Father, for Jesus always functions in the passion of His Father!
- Does Jesus worship now? Did Jesus worship while here on earth? Does Jesus remain a living sacrifice, a priest offering Himself before the Father. Stop for a moment and picture the reality of spirit, in Heaven, where all authority, power, wisdom, riches, glory, and honor comes into Jesus so that it can be released through Jesus in both heaven and earth. In heaven through His positioned intercession at Father’s right hand; on earth, through those who represent Him and His kingdom. [See Hebrews 12: 28-29.]
- We can participate in anointed worship and experience worship without worshipping in spirit and truth.
- We can bring God what we want Him to have without releasing spiritual worship.
- We can do something we call, “worship,” without actually worshipping in spirit and truth.
So, spiritual worship reveals. And the revelation of what God creates and releases through us, we call “prophetic worship.”
- Worship doesn’t begin in our heads. Worship isn’t something you figure out or imagine with the same creative juices that originate other valid kingdom responses. It is not enterprise or entertainment, as legitimate as they may be. It is worship.
- The term “entertainment” need not be separated from the kingdom, but entertainment cannot be worship. We should have a clear distinction between the two. I encourage the production, development, and excellence of christian entertainment, and I will enjoy it for its artistic, wholesome literary and entertainment value. Just don’t ever substitute entertainment for worship.
- Worship doesn’t begin in our hearts. Human passion can never burn hot enough to consume spirit; it can only fire flesh. Only when spirit becomes the burning ember of Father’s passion can we release heavenly worship. God is a consuming fire, and His fire upon the altar will consume the entire sacrifice that He accepts.
- Worship begins in our bellies, in the womb of the spirit.
- Spiritual worship begins at the person level, of course, as does every aspect of kingdom. The reality of spirit has no limitation based upon how many people are involved. You can worship God all the time, in many ways, with prophetic and spiritual worship as an authentic worshipper.
- The scope of “spiritual worship influence” is as large as the scope of your personal spiritual influence. That is, however you could measure the influence you have in spiritual reality, that would be the measurement of influence for your spiritual worship.
- Corporate worship is kingdom participation. We can worship God together, in specific times and ways, including prophetic and spiritual worship. However, corporate worship requires us to be where we are assigned to be, prepared and positioned in kingdom location, submitted to kingdom leadership and agreeing with kingdom leadership strategy. Corporate worship releasing spiritual worship comes from people with pure hands and holy hearts. Corporate worship blighted by rebellion, division, pride, strife, and bitterness stemming from unforgiveness and unreconciled offenses fails to release the worship God creates in heaven. That spiritual worship is designed and defined for release by holy beings, created to worship in spiritual reality. It is designed and defined for release into the earth through redeemed souls who seek first kingdom and God’s right behaviors. So, corporate worship cannot be defined as “believers together in the same place singing the same songs at the same time.” Nor does the oft misappropriated Scripture that begins with “where two or three are gathered in My Name” tell us that such a gathered group automatically does everything they are doing with corporate anointing in corporate assignment and corporate authority to represent God and kingdom in the earth. We can be assured, however, that all those corporate factors and variables apply to receiving and releasing corporate worship.
- Matt Redman song:
Let our praise be Your welcome;
Let our songs be a sign;
We are here for You, we are here for You.
Let Your breath come from heaven;
Fill our hearts with Your life;
We are here for You, we are here for You
Note the concept that something comes to us so it can be released through us. Kingdom of God means something real in heaven becomes real in the earth through kingdom born citizens who represent heaven on earth. Worship is such a key of release: “what has already been released in heaven, you release in the earth.”
The concept that we can create something on our own, even with His inspiration, that will become worship simply because He has gifted us or we are filled with His Spirit, misses the mark of spiritual worship. The idea that “using your God-given talent” is worship because you are a believer doing something misses the mark. (The worst kind of death metal maniac music “uses God-given talent.” The most immoral rants of hip-hop aggression and sexual anarchy use God-given talent.) Singing the best hymns of history isn’t worship simply because the songs are inspired, inspiring, or sung inspirationally.
God wearies with human performance as a substitute for spiritual worship, not matter how closely the presentation resembles what He designs. We must be the sacrifice so that what we receive becomes what we release.
Worship empties out as it fills up.
- We must submit our personal worship to corporate worship. While this sounds easy, and many people sincerely believe they are doing so simply because they are in the same room with other believers while something they can call “worship” is going on, the reality is that believers by the millions experience worship without releasing spiritual worship. They measure worship by how they feel, what they like, what fires their own passion, and what they enjoy. They seldom even concern themselves with oneness or even unity (the two are not the same thing), even choosing where they gather together with believers based solely upon their personal tastes, desires, and experience in “worship” as an experience. In fact, I would have to assume, based upon any measurement of modern worship experiences, that the very idea of “corporate” worship has not occurred to but a few, a much smaller group of believers would recognize “spiritual worship,” and the numbers of believers who would discern corporate, spiritual worship would be a small Remnant. Even then, those that recognize and discern it would agree that it is not easily achieved.
- We are all part of the kingdom by virtue of being born from above, so we can receive and release spiritual worship; kingdom of heaven worship can be released into the earth.
- But greater kingdom influence can be released when we move out of our personal worship and surrender to a corporate assignment. We release kingdom worship to the extent that the individuals involve surrender to the Ecclesia assignment.
- The Palm Sunday celebration revealed disconnect between the kingdom and the existing religious and political structure of God’s chosen people. The only place on earth where kingdom of heaven could be released through spiritual worship was Jerusalem at that time, and the King of the kingdom rode into that spiritual arena the day they chose the family Passover lambs.
- The people were singing songs they had been singing for centuries, and Messianic Scriptures that prophesied Messiah’s arrival in ultimate Passover. Yet, they fell far short of releasing the reality of spirit into the natural. They were singing about something instead of prophesying the reality of something. Even though they had sung, “Hosanna,” for centuries, they missed the meaning and message so much that when Messiah actually arrived they were singing about something instead of releasing spiritual worship.
Spiritual Prophetic Kingdom Worship
- So when we combine all these elements, in spiritual kingdom worship, the scope of influence in the Spirit changes the atmosphere as large as the scope of our spiritual influence, and as a kingdom gathering we can change the atmosphere over a region!
- With this kind of spiritual and prophetic worship, our worship releases into what God is doing with a manifestation of power and authority. The children prophesied and what they sang happened! They lifted Jesus into the position of His power and authority as Messiah, and then Messianic things happened. For Israel, the scope of their kingdom influence would have been the scope of their worship influence; that is why God required them to return to Jerusalem for worship events, to celebrate worship as a kingdom people. Had Israel ever produced the level of kingdom culture influence God designed them to have, their worship would have been released as broadly as their influence.
- Acts 4 prayer is worship and intercession blended together so that we cannot tell the difference between the two. In this setting, their prayer ascended from corporate, spiritual, prophetic, kingdom worship. Lacking a worship band, a fiddle, or a lyre, they worshipped. We can achieve worship without music, but we can ride the vehicle of music into the release of worship is valid ways in any cultural setting: with or without music isn’t the issue of releasing worship.
Davidic Worship in Kingdom Worship
- To understand Davidic worship, we have to understand kingdom. David did not establish this worship until he had established kingdom, and the worship influence was always equal to the kingdom influence. To attempt Davidic worship without kingdom foundations moves us into forms that speak to it but do not produce that experience.
- Since kingdom influence measures worship influence, Davidic worship always responds to kingdom authority and government. David came into kingship, but immediately sought to move the nation into kingdom; then, he immediately wished to bring worship into the heart of that kingdom by moving the ark to Zion. This was unique to any previous kingdom and worship, and it best prophesied Messiah.